Romero Pools

Nice view of the Santa Catalina Mountains on the Romero Pools trail. (Photo Cred: Michael Gelb)

6:15 A.M.–  Ahhhh, the startling sound of the alarm clock resonates through my ears.  Wait, it’s still dark out though, this can’t be right.  Yet again, awake before the sun on a Saturday morning.  Today’s destination?  Romero Pools.  Too late for pool season?  Psshh, you’re dead wrong.

The cold water on my face didn’t quite seem to work at this time in the morning, but after a full bowl of Fruity Pebbles, I was ready to rock.  Made my sandwich, filled up the water jugs, and my roommate and I hit the road.  Romero Pools is not too far from the UA campus area, about 20-25 mins I’d say.  The hike is in the Catalina State Park, which requires a $7 fee to get inside, a small fee to pay for the rewards we got out of it.

The trailhead starts off with a long sand trail, which leads you to different trail paths.  Again, took us a minute to see exactly where we were going, because getting lost and backtracking this early in the game definitely puts a damper on the rest of the hike.

Early morning shot of the beginning sandy trail to Romero Pools. (Photo cred: Michael Gelb)

If you come to a point where you don’t know where to go, it’s worth it to take the 5 or so minutes to figure it out, then just keep hiking and figure out you’re going the wrong way a mile or so in.

To me, the hike really starts when the sand trail ends and you start to get the steep incline of rock hiking, and you start to see the “No dog’s allowed past this point” sign.  The hike starts with a moderate incline with rock steps, but nothing too difficult.  At certain points in on this hike, there were cool little places to climb up and see a better view of the landscape, which I love.

Romero Pools Rules! (Photo cred: Michael Gelb)

That is one of the best things about hiking to me.  You have the trail to follow, but at times you find a cool little rock surface to climb and find something for yourself.  We took breaks at certain spots with a good view to sit down and drink some water.  At a couple points on the hike, it seemed like we were getting really deep into the mountains, so I thought we were going the wrong way, but alas, we heard water and the pools were right in front of us.

The pools were amazing, although the water was absolutely freezing!  There were a few cliff jumping spots, which always makes the pools that much more fun.  But, before jumping in, always check the deepness of the water.  You don’t want to get injured when you’re miles outside of civilization.  There was no one at the pools when we first got there, but after about a half hour, there was about 15 to 20 people there.

Fellow hiker jumping into the water. (Photo cred: Michael Gelb)

Cliff jumping was the best part of the hike.  Having a destination, much like the pools, makes the hike more enjoyable to me.

The hike down was cake.  Yes, it was getting hotter and hotter as the day progressed, but hiking down is always much easier.  I highly recommend this hike.  This hike is definitely one of my favorites here in Tucson.  It gives great mountain views, moderate difficulty, and the Romero Pools were amazing.  This hike offers everything that’s beautiful about the Southwest.  Now, get off your computer and get outside!


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